Month 10:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5940:295 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 27 January 2017
Readying the Remnant for Service
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisrae'el and Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon and may the One "who keeps emunah (faith) forever" (Ps.148:6, NRSV), our Heavenly Father Yahweh-Elohim, be with us today through His Son, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
A Difficult Week for Unexpected Reasons
It has been quite a difficult week, not because this last week has been particularly different from any other, but because many of my American friends have been behaving as though the Second Coming has already taken place...or something like it because of the election of the assumption of the office of President by Donald Trump. There is quite a messianic fervour in the air - people have huge expectations, and these seem to keep mounting as the man in the White House bulldozes his way through his promised reforms. And some of them think Trump can do no wrong and will borach no criticism. Yes, I admit it, I celebrated the departure of the autocratic, Messiah-hating, pro-terrorist Bolshevik tyrant a week ago, and I celebrated that his wicked Jezebel replacement was trounced. I was glad and I don't mind saying so. I was glad to witness, in the spirit world, the Enemy smarting. Justice is starting to be done in some areas and justice always feels good. The Enemy suffered a defeat, just like Yahweh told me he would. But he has not gone, not by a long stretch - he has simply switched to a 'Plan B' - and Trump is not the messiah. There are things he is already doing that I do not like.
Maintaining a Realistic Perspective
Since I wrote you a piece on President Trump the other day, and shared what Yahweh showed me in vision, I am not cover any more on this subject. What I want to do, what I have already started to do, and what I will undoubtedly be doing know in the months ahead, is to continue warning people not to get distracted by what is going on in the political world but to rather resume last minute preparations for trials and tribulations that are coming. The swamp-drainers are not only going to have to watch their backs and not get carried away but maintain the momentum. The enemies of liberty are not only in the opposition but are also at home. America has not suddenly become safe.
Eyes Back on the Kingdom
So now´that the celebration is over, we must let Yahweh's men and women in government get on with their business and we must get on with ours. We have been able to open the valves and release some pressure - the euphoria must be allowed to pass and we must get on with the business of the Kingdom. The world, far from becoming safer, has become considerably mroe dangerous. So let us end our dip in the excitement of the passing psychic wave and afix our eyes once more the revelatory and discipling tasks assigned to us by Yahweh, as Elisabeth Elliot reminds us:
Properly Interpreting the Word
"Discipleship usually brings us into the necessity of choice between duty and desire. They are not always mutually exclusive, however. When our hearts are set on obedience, we can be sure of the needed wisdom to tell the difference between a conflict and a harmony. It may be a slow and painful process" .
In recent weeks Yahweh has led me to do some very deep studying indeed and reminded men of the necessity of properly interpreting His Davar (Word), understanding its spirit and getting hold of the bigger picture. It is very easy to get so absorbed in the elephant's trunk that you forget you're looking at an elephant. We have to regularly stand back and take stock. If we are to interpret Scripture properly we have to do many things - we have to understand the character of its writers, the sources of their knowledge and the conditions under which they lived which includes knowing something about the influences at work upon their personalities. We need to understand the terms they used, and their references to the customs, rites and observances of their social and religious life because no Scripture arises in a vacuum. To this end we will always need informed teachers which is why Yah'shua (Jesus) established teachers in the messianic assemblies. By their means - and I myself am endebted to so many - our souls are enriched spiritually, morally and intellectually.
Simplifying Academese and Upturning Heresy
So much of Scripture has remained sealed to us because these teachers use academic language that few can comprehend. One of the tasks I am currently engaged in is trying to translate when they have learned into simple language. Right now my challenge is Paul. I have finally, decades on, taken the bull by the horns and have started wrestling with him to make sense of his thought and now I am seeing things that were for so long hidden to me. I shall endeavour to share what I have learned, motivated as I have been in recent weeks by heresy. which is invading the popular reading material of the qadoshim (saints, set-apart ones), laced with poor scholarship presented in a way to make it look sound. This calling has lain especially heavily on me the last few weeks.
Why We Have to Emphasise Correct Doctrine
Now I know a lot of people get turned off by such activity. However, with so much false teaching being cycled and recycled a pure theology becomes all the more essential. We have to get our doctrine right. Paul said to Timothy:
"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers" (1 Tim.4:16, NIV).
We present to the world - and especially here the leaders - a dual picture. One side, as it were, is our life - our conduct, our behaviour, our attitudes, our spirituality - and the other is our doctrine or teaching. Both are equally important. Paul prophesied to the young evangelist, did he not, that:
The New Myth-Makers
"[a] time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the emet (truth) and turn aside to myths" (2 Tim 4:3-4, NIV).
Every generatrion has its 'myth-makers' - just look at all the babbling in the churches, the unseemly behaviour, the escapist, watered-down 'gospels' that are no Besorah (Gospel) at all. So to Titus, Paul urged him to "encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it" (Titus 1:9, NIV) and to "teach what is in accord with sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1, NIV). We have not been given the licence to disregard these instructions. Another word for 'instruction' is Torah which was its original meaning before the Pharisees started making it exclusively about the mitzvot (commandments).
An Age Like Jeremiah's
Every age has its controversies and heresies that would lead believers away from emet (truth) and salvation and our is no exception. We have to contend with enemies both within and without. We live not in a golden age but a dark one. And as I have intimated so many times before already, we live in an age like that of Jeremiah.
The Prophet Yahweh Hurled into Judah for Judgment
I bet you didn't know that the name 'Jeremiah' means 'Yah throw' in the sense of 'throwing' or 'hurling' the navi (prophet) into a hostile world. 'Jeremiah' can also have the sense of 'throwing down' the nations in divine judgment for their sins.
Many Prophets Have Been Hurled Down
Well, have I got news for you! You - us, all of us - were hurled down here, often kicking and screaming (and if you won't confess then, then I will for myself) at a time when the Mishpatim or Judgments of Yahweh are beingn unleashed, or are about to be unleashed, on the nations, including the United States, Europe and the whole Western world. That's why I keep urging you not to get too excited by the Trump victory. And because this is such a chaotic time...and will get a lot, lot worse - Yahweh sends lots of nevi'im (prophets) altogether. Jeremiah was by no means alone, was he? Zephaniah came right before him, Habakkuk was a contemporary along with Obadiah, and Ezekiel was a late contemporary of Yahweh's man in Jerusalem.
The Generation About to be Swept Away
You have to understand something important about Jeremiah, why he was unmarried, and why many of Yahweh's modern nevi'im (prophets) have been commanded to warn the world of the impending divine judgment that came upon on Judah and was about to sweep away the next generation as it is about to sweep away this corrupt and wicked generation:
The Tiny Circle of the Jeremiah Prophets
"Then the Davar Yahweh (Word of the LORD) came to me: 'You must not marry and have sons or daughters in this place.' For this is what Yahweh says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers: 'They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried but will be like refuse lying on the ground. They will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth'" (Jer.16:1-4, NIV).
Since Jeremiah's mission was in the capital, Jerusalem, where all this would transpire, raising a family would have been impossible. The other nevi'im (prophets) were married. Such men - such 'prophets of doom' - attract only a few friends, like Jeremiah's faithful secretary Baruch. The 'Jeremiah Prophets' don't have much of a social life! So if you should marry one - assuming he has not been called to be single - you must be prepared for a diminished social life. And if you're not prepared to make that sacrifice, then find someone else.
The Prophecy to Baruch
Those of you who are the companions of the Jeremiah Prophets must be prepared to forsake worldly ambition, or any kind of ambition, for that matter, and be content with your lot. Baruch was so instructed and was told that his life would be no picnic:
No Ordinary, No Normal Life
"This is what Jeremiah the navi (prophet) told Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, after Baruch had written on a scroll the words Jeremiah was then dictating: 'This is what Yahweh, the Elohim (God) of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You said, 'Woe to me! Yahweh has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.'' [Yahweh said,] 'Say this to him: 'This is what Yahweh says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land. Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares Yahweh, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life''" (Jer.45:1-5, NIV).
Some of you coming up to this work need to be prepared for this kind of life. One thing I can definitely promise anyone who comes - you won't have an ordinary life. It will be extraordinary. It won't be normal. It will be peculiar. I love the way the old King James Version (KJV) puts it:
Learning to be 'Peculiar'
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light" (1 Peter 2:9, KJV).
The old Jacobean English word "peculiar" doesn't mean 'weird'. It actually translates two words which mean "belonging to" or "possessed by" Yahweh which is why modern translations render the phrase as "His own special people" (NKJV). However you cut it, it means you're going to be very different from the world because you're going to come to resemble your Owner and He is nothing like the world, and the world is going to think you strange and hate you for being different. So get used to being different and don't complain about it.
When Jeremiah Complained
But, oh, did Jeremiah complain! This navi (prophet) was given to much self-analysis and self-criticism and thanks to his complaining we learn a great deal about his character and personality as we see from this outburst:
The Dangers of Nationalism
"I know, O Yahweh that a man's life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps.
Correct me, Yahweh, but only with justice --
not in Your anger,
lest you reduce me to nothing.
Pour out Your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge You,
on the peoples who do not call on Your name.
For they have devoured Jacob;
they have devoured him completely
and destroyed his homeland" (Jer.10:23-25, NIV).
Earlier I tried to warn you against nationalism, not because it's wrong to love your own country, but because Yahweh can't use you, if you are called to be a navi (prophet) and you are required to call judgment on your own country as Jeremiah was upon his. So that's why I urged you to get over the psychic pleasure afforded by the defeat of the tyrant and remember to what you have been called. You are going to see your nations go through terrible times and if you are going to be of use to Yahweh you are going to have look to your Heavenly Country as the main source of your pride and loyalty.
Jeremiah the Timid
All sorts of people are going to be called to be nevi'im (prophets) who consider themselves unqualified! Don't assume you have to be bold and brave with a booming voice, a bronze forehead and a long-flowing white beard to be one. Jeremiah was a timid man, don't you know? Yet he received Yahweh's assurance that he would become strong and courageous:
The Divine Transformation of Jeremiah
"Then said I (Jeremiah): 'Ah, Yahweh-Elohim! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth'" (Jer.1:6, NKJV).
He probably didn't even have a beard when he was called, like the apostle John! So what did Yahweh say to this young 'un?
"For behold, I have made you this day
A fortified city and an iron pillar,
And bronze walls against the whole land --
Against the kings of Judah,
Against its princes,
Against its cohenim (priests),
And against the people of the land.
They will fight against you,
But they shall not prevail against you.
For I am with you,' says Yahweh, 'to deliver you'"
(Jer 1:18-19, NKJV).
"I have set you as an assayer and a fortress among My people,
That you may know and test their way"
"'And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall;
And they will fight against you,
But they shall not prevail against you;
For I am with you to save you
And deliver you,' says Yahweh.
'I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked,
And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible'"
Yes, you will have your struggles and dark hours  but the called who are the elect, who do not run away, will prevail. So don't run! Yes, you may even rail against Yahweh sometimes! Sometimes I hear myself in Jermiah's complaining:
When There are No Verdant Pastures
"Righteous are You, O Yahweh, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your mishpatim (judgments).
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
You'll ask questions like that and not get any answers but you will carry on trusting and keep on with your task. Let's be realistic, shall we? In times of judgment, we're not going to be living in verdant pastures with skipping white lambs around us! It's not going to be like that. So you have got to get toughened up and get your complaining and whining burned out of you. But at first you'll complain and whine:
The Weeping Prophet
"Why is my pain perpetual
And my wound incurable,
Which refuses to be healed?
Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream,
As waters that fail?
Then you have to ask yourself whose you are and what 'being owned' really means! It is easy to say we are Yahweh's servants in mock, presumptuous humility but we'll be given our chance to really prove it. So, no, this was not a big tough man. He was timid, he was sensitive, he was (by his own estimation) 'weak'. He's called the 'weeping navi (prophet)' for good reason because he had so much anguish of spirit .
Remembering the Divine Call
So what kept him going? What's going to keep you going? Simple, really. He never forgot his divine call:
The Encouragement of Yahweh's Affirmations
"Therefore prepare yourself and arise,
And speak to them all that I command you.
Do not be dismayed before their faces,
Lest I dismay you before them.
In addition Yahweh gave him numerous and frequent affirmations of his commissioning as a navi (prophet)  and it was these that made him fearless in the service of His Elohim (God):
Preparation for Harder Tasks
"'And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall;
And they will fight against you,
But they shall not prevail against you;
For I am with you to save you
And deliver you,' says Yahweh"
Ah, so many times my enemies have sought to destroy me during my life as a minister, I cannot tell you, and in the early days I was very fearful. But each time Yahweh delivered me, I grew stronger and more bold. He does not deliver His nevi'im (prophets) so as not to place them in challenging situations again, but to prepare them for even more challenging tasks.
Calling the Unlikelys and Making Them Fit for Service
If you have come to this work for tea and crumpets, soda and fairy cakes, relaxation at a spiritual spa or a nice Turkish bath, you're in the wrong place! I have said this before and I'll say it again. Yahweh is calling His 'unlikely's' into service. And He is calling those who have fallen through the cracks between the denominations because only these can understand the nature of the calling. The motley crew Yahweh is assembling here looks like no marines' outfit but by the time Yahweh is done with the it is the marines who will look like the motley crew. Cowards are a dime-a-dozen but men and women of character and strength are made in the fields of affliction and deprivation.
Rant-and-Rage, Pity-Party or Repentance?
So you've had a rough life? OK, well, I'm really sorry to hear that, but what will you do with that life now? You can either tet Yahweh shape it like a Jeremiah and do a marvelous work and a wonder for King and Kingdom through you, or you can throw an hecatic temper tantrum or a invite prospective sympathisers to a lilithic pity-party- Either way you will make yourself look utterly repulsive. Besides, there isn't a soul who hasn't waded through affliction of one sort or another. You're not unique! You don't have the right to special attention. Don't ask me all the why's and wherefore's of life's hardships because I wtill don't know. All I know is that "many are called but few are chosen" (Mt.22:14, NKJV) because so few respond. So will you rant or throw a woe-is-me party, or take up your cross and follow the Master you profess? (Mt.16:24; 10:38)
Just Like Jeremiah's Day
We live in a time exactly like Jeremiah's. The sins of our countrymen are heinous just like ancient Judah's. Our countrymen are as idolatrous as Judah's were, even if the gods look different - but the spirit is identical. The fact that our lot are more sophisticted does not make us more righteous. Yes, and we sacrifice our children to Moloch through abortion in greater numbers than the ancients ever did when they roasted them alive (Jer.7:30-34). Today we are busy smashing smashing up the family by destroying godly identity and sacred bonds. The latest madness I have heard coming out of the liberal establishment is the proposal that family 'swop children' around so give them a more diverse growing up! No, today's generation is the most wicked of all time, and it's getting worse. How, then, can anyone suppose it will escape judgment?
False Prophets Galore
Jeremiah's world was full of false nevi'im (prophets) just as there are today whether they prophesying rapture or prosperity to those who will line their pockets. I was looking into a South African 'singing prophet' yesterday who has been acclaimed because he got one prediction right (in which he had a 50:50 probability of choosing right). Nevertheless, many of his prophecies are false and his theology is utterly warped. No, our day is no different from Jeremiah's, only now it's global, and a lot more Jeremiah's are needed to do the job.
Do a Good Job
We don't know how Jeremiah died just as we don't know how we will die, save that he died and entered his glory. Some think he died in exile with some of his countrymen in Egypt as an exile, others that he was stoned (Heb.11:37). It doesn't really matter. What mattered for him, and what will matter for us, is that we acquitted ourselves well for our Master.
We will assemble again tomorrow for Yahweh's message for the new month. May He bless you all as you take stock and gird yourselves ready for service. "Do not lose heart or be afraid" (Jer.51:46a, NIV). Amen.
 Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity: Learning to bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control, Authentic Media, Milton Keynes, England: 2002), p.51)
 Jeremiah 11:18-23; 12:1-4; 15:10-21; 17:12-18; 18:18-23; 20:7-18
 Jeremiah 4:19; 9:1; 10:19-20; 23:9
 Jeremiah 3:12; 7:2,27-28; 11:2,6; 13:12-13: 17:19-20)